Everybody loves a deal, even if selling them is a tougher business than it might seem.

But if you're the world's largest digital purveyor of deals, how do you fend off competition and reach more consumers? If you're Groupon, you turn to the physical world.

As reported by Travel Weekly, the Chicago-based daily deals site is turning to kiosks to promote deals:

The kiosks have deals that are "geo-targeted", and include Getaways, Groupon's travel deals.

SmartDigital said that 100 kiosks would be set up within the next 90 days, and that the campaign would expand to other major metropolitan markets around the country later this year.

According to Travel Weekly, many of the first 30 kiosks deployed in the wild are located in spots heavily frequented by tourists. For obvious reasons, that might be a wise move. After all, who doesn't love a deal when traveling?

At the same time, however, if Groupon is specifically targeting tourists, it hints that Groupon is less focused on introducing new customers to merchants, eventually driving repeat business in the process. Instead, Groupon would be appear to be taking advantage of an opportunity to use its brand to capture transactions that realistically will lead to a single transaction between merchant and customer.

That's not necessarily a bad thing, of course. If travel-related merchants aren't expecting repeat business, and Groupon can use kiosks to reach potential customers that in many cases aren't going to be reached online, the 800 pound gorilla of daily deals may find that an old technology, the kiosk, is a productive little friend.

Patricio Robles

Published 2 February, 2012 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

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